Data: Just 26% of Indians speak Hindi as mother tongue

September 17, 2019 04:58 pm | Updated September 18, 2019 12:12 pm IST

Photo for representation.

Photo for representation.

A language is an umbrella term which contains many mother tongues. 43% of Indians speak the Hindi language, which includes many mother tongues such as Bhojpuri, Rajasthani & Hindi.

Only about 26% of Indians speak Hindi as mother tongue under the broader Hindi language grouping (according to Census 2011).

Close to 40% of the Hindi language speakers speak mother tongues other than Hindi.

State-wise split

The map shows the share of a State’s population who speak the Hindi language (which includes many mother tongues) as of 2011. The share of Hindi language speakers is highest in Uttar Pradesh and lowest in Kerala.

image/svg+xmlUttar Pradesh94.1%Bihar77.5%Kerala0.16%Tamil Nadu0.55%Rajasthan89.4%0.16%94.1%

Many tongues

The Hindi language has 56 mother tongues listed under it. The table lists 10 of those mother tongues which are widely spoken. Each mother tongue’s share in the Hindi language is also listed.


Preferred lingo

The chart shows the % of people who speak various mother tongues under the Hindi language. For instance, in Haryana, Haryanvi was the mother tongue of 42% of people who spoke the Hindi language and Hindi was the mother tongue of 54.5% of people who spoke the Hindi language.


Listed versus the rest

The chart shows the % of Indians who speak different mother tongues under the ‘Hindi’ language and the % whose mother tongues are listed under the 22 scheduled languages (included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution).

image/svg+xmlSpeakers of a mother tongue/language as a % of India's pop15L0.10.20.4125103040L1 Cr.3 Cr.7 Cr.40 Cr.Absolute number of speakersBhojpuriKannadaMalayalamHindiRajasthaniChhattisgarhiNepaliBodoBengaliTamil15 Cr.% of Indians who speak different mothertongues under the 'Hindi' language% whose mother tongues are listed underthe 22 scheduled languages

Despite being spoken by a large number of people, Bhojpuri and Rajasthani are not listed as scheduled languages, while Bodo and Nepali which are spoken by relatively fewer people are in the Eighth Schedule.

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